Redefining remote monitoring with BAUER

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Delve in to BAUER’s 75-year journey of creating intuitive and dependable breathing air products

As technology continues to advance, opportunities to improve convenience, efficiency, and safety have cropped up in every field.

One company has continually set and lifted the bar among many of these technologies by continuously using ongoing feedback from real firefighters to develop new solutions: BAUER.

While some new technologies bring more complications than solutions, the focus and energy of firefighting and rescue personnel should always be on keeping themselves safe while they perform their duties.

Rather than advancing for the sake of exhibition, BAUER has consistently sought to create solutions that streamline operations and minimise risk for those who protect their communities.

With over seven decades of experience manufacturing breathing air compressors, BAUER is no stranger to the world of innovation.

From its roots in Munich, Germany, to the creation of BAUER COMPRESSORS 1976, establishing its presence in the US market, the company has been family owned for three generations.

Not only is BAUER the largest manufacturer of high-pressure breathing air equipment, but they also lead the industry in innovation with their state-of-the-art solutions.

An ISO 9001 company, BAUER uses a vertically integrated manufacturing process to ensure quality products from concept to fabrication to lifecycle support, such as OEM parts and factory training provided at its Norfolk, Virginia campus.

75 years of innovation

Firefighters know BAUER COMPRESSORS for its decades of experience creating high-standard breathing air products.

Over the years, it has developed a comprehensive breathing air equipment portfolio for the end user’s applications, including small portable systems, larger stationary systems, and even trailer-mounted compressors.

Now, the company continues to evolve to respond to new challenges, fueled by our desire to create the most intuitive and dependable products in the industry.

Wherever reliable, ultra-pure breathing air is required, professionals can look to BAUER for its enduring commitment to quality and longevity.

“I’ve [been in the breathing air industry for over 40 years], so I’m used to lots of old technology,” Bill Dickson, the Vice President of Breathing Air Sales for BAUER COMPRESSORS.

“Well, times have changed, methods have changed, and at the end of the day, what we’re trying to do is create products for the person at the end of the nozzle…to reduce their risk, if you will.”

What sets BAUER apart is not only its leadership in producing new technology but also its historic knowledge and investment in creating only what is useful.

The company is very connected with the user base of its products; they develop and maintain relationships with firefighting groups and actively seeks out feedback, which allows them to respond and adapt to the desires and feedback of real firefighters.

“We build to the customer’s requirements…because everybody’s requirements are different,” says Dickson.

Needs, budgets, and department size can vary across countries, cities, and even between two stations in the same county.

BAUER has responded to this diversity with a series of solutions adapted to various levels of technological advancement and size.

The design team is very familiar with working together with customers to design bespoke solutions.

It is rare to find a company that maintains its position as the leader in the industry after so many decades; it is rarer still to find a company that regularly transforms the industry to such a degree.

But BAUER continues to evolve to respond to new challenges, fueled by a desire to create the most dependable products in the industry.

“We’re going after the next generation of firefighter, the firefighter who’s more interested in – and able to – work with a handheld device than gauges, valves, things of that nature,” says Dickson


“We have a new product called Charge Rate Control,” Dickson tells.

“We recognise that a lot of people in the industry don’t know how to handle the breathing air.

Charge Rate Control does that automatically to take out the guesswork.” The BAUER CRC™ is designed to automatically fill SCBA and SCUBA cylinders to their maximum allowable pressure while avoiding hot fills and maximising the stored air in the cylinders.

The BAUER CRC™ allows for three different charge rate settings to be easily changed with the push of a button.

Installation is simple, The BAUER CRC™ can be wall-mounted, and only requires two high pressure hose connections and power.

It is compatible with cascade storage and containment fill stations, and can be retrofit to existing BAUER compressor systems.

In response to firefighters’ safety concerns with the compressors of the past, Dickson notes that the BAUER CRC™ containment system is built for security.

“We [designed the] SCBA containment fill stations to totally contain the fragments of a ruptured 5500 PSIG SCBA, all in accordance with current NFPA standards, while at the same time managing their SCBA fill rate,” he noted.

UNICUS® 4S & 4i

For the BAUER UNICUS®, we combined our state-of-the-art compressors with one of our high-pressure breathing air purification systems with an integrated fill station that Dickson describes as being tested to “totally contain the fragments of a ruptured 5500 PSIG SCBA.” The UNICUS® can fill SCBA and SCUBA cylinders either directly from the compressor or from the optional air storage system.

BAUER offers several system options; a variety of compatible compressor blocks can be built into the UNICUS®, allowing users to customise the system to meet their department’s requirements.

There is even an available Fire Edition of our UNICUS® 4, with a customisable design to fit right at home in any fire station, down to the ability to print a station’s logo on the device.

BAUER offers two modes of pneumatic operations, either with manual controls incorporated within the UNICUS® 4S or fully automated controls on the UNICUS® 4i.

The UNICUS® 4S is an analog version of the all-in-one system that is available in either 345 bar (5000 PSIG) or up to 482 bar (7000 PSIG), with discharge capacities ranging from a 368 l/min (13 SCFM) to 714 l/min (26 SCFM) charge rate.

For maintenance, all access doors have snap pin technology that allows the user to lift and remove the door with no hand tools.

The operations panel tilts forward for access.

All requisite panels are equipped with sound-attenuated material to reduce noise during operation.

UNICUS® comes standard with an integrated rack that accommodates four piped-in storage cylinders.

Additionally, two ASME-coded air storage cylinders are included as a part of the standard scope of supply.

The UNICUS® 4i upgrades the features of the 4S with a control system centered around an intuitive 15-inch password-protected touchscreen control panel.

The touchpad provides the operator with keystroke control of the entire system as well as system monitoring.

Attributes include SCBA data logging in accordance with NFPA and OSHA standards, fill pressure and fill speed adjustment, and automatic cascade controls, to name a few.

Additionally, BAUER can equip any system with a whole list of optional GAS TEK gas monitoring systems.

 Equip the unit with our patent pending BAUER CONNECT®️, and it provides remote monitoring and control of the system remotely.

In the event of a total power failure, or according to the preference of firefighters who prefer an analog option over a digital one, the UNICUS® comes with a manual bypass system.

The system ensures that the fire department is still in service and able to utilise the stored air during electric outages.

Quality should never be optional when it comes to breathing air, which is why the UNICUS® comes equipped with the SECURUS purification system.

These feature an anodised aluminum filter housing and long-lasting filter cartridges packed with a catalyst that converts carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide, activated carbon that absorbs oil vapors, a molecular sieve that absorbs oil and water, and the sensor components.

The SECURUS electronically monitors filter cartridge life and warns the user to prepare to change the cartridge when the filter is nearly saturated.

Once the cartridge has reached total saturation, the monitor will issue an alarm to shut the unit down and change the filter cartridge.


“We have system upgrades that will electronically monitor the compressors remotely, so if we have e.g. volunteer departments and their stations are unmanned, it gives the fire chief the ability to monitor a compressor remotely,” said Dickson.

The BAUER CONNECT IoT Solution is an app and internet-based service that allows BAUER customers to remotely monitor and control their entire BAUER system through any wireless mobile device or computer.

Factory-trained personnel who are authorised by administrators may control the system with the same functionality as if they were physically standing in front of the unit.

BAUER CONNECT®️ was recently updated to version 2.1, which retained all previous functionality while adding new features and improving ease of use.

When fire stations opt into connecting BAUER CONNECT®️ to their compressor, the system allows them to access their information remotely and even control it – ideal for checking their compressor while they’re away from the station.

The Mobile Dashboard feature provides a graphical SCADA display of the entire system, including compressor system status, error logs, critical pressures and temperatures, the volume of gas dispensed in storage information, and more.

The BAUER Reports feature generates standard or customised reports tailored to the specific needs of the customer, and the service can provide historical data for all reports.

BAUER Predictive Analytics provides a new proactive dimension to perpetually maintaining customers’ compressor systems at peak conditions with minimum downtime.

Its algorithm uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse collected system information on the BAUER Cloud to predict upcoming maintenance requirements and preventative actions to avoid unplanned shutdowns.

The BAUER CONNECT®️ mobile app will send push notifications if certain parameters of the system fall outside of the normal operating range or if triggered by a system alert, ensuring essential personnel are notified immediately to allow for proactive intervention in a situation that could potentially be detrimental to the BAUER system as well as the user’s operations.

Users with administrative privileges may set custom alerts for the performance parameters of their choice.

BAUER RFIDPro® is another internet service designed specifically to help fire departments save time while remaining in compliance with NFPA 1989 and OSHA regulations.

A user-friendly handheld device puts intuitive control of the BAUER system at your fingertips.

The device is compatible with any SCBA manufacturer’s RFID tags, or it can scan cylinder bar codes.

RFIDPro® generates records to track fill data, including date, operator, and fill pressure, replacing the need for time-consuming, hand-written logs.

The RFIDPro® notifies the operator and department personnel when a scanned cylinder has reached its end-of-life expiration date, is past due on hydro testing, or is inactive due to failed inspection.

The device guides the operator through the entire cylinder fill process, ensuring that each step is completed safely and sequentially.

All SCBA history and information is stored in the cloud and accessible at any time through the user interface portal on the BAUER RFIDPro® secure website, where it can be downloaded.

The reader can be operated offline when a Wi-Fi connection is not available, and it is also available with LTE cellular option.

Important documentation can be uploaded into the cloud to keep all records in one place.

Continuing forward

As BAUER approaches eight decades in the industry, quality continues to be the company tagline.

In addition to constant dialogue with fire departments, the company employs individuals on the NFPA review board to ensure they are constantly up to date with industry standards.

The two main goals of the company are to continue to innovate reliable solutions built with the end user in mind, while finding new ways to develop technology that helps the planet.

This article was originally published in the October 2023 issue of International Fire & Safety Journal. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

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